Baby Talk

More Than Baby Food | Devotion #1: Baby Talk
Tommy Youngquist | Children’s Pastor

Is it not crazy how a parent can understand their toddler’s jargon, but no one else can? For example, my now three-year-old, Heidi, had some coin phrases when she was two. They consisted of:

  1. “Sarugo Daddy” = “There you go, Daddy.”
  2. “Do do’s go nite nite” = “It’s dark outside now, and the birds have gone to sleep.”
  3. “That’s bebah!” = “That’s better!”

The difference that has happened in her speech between the ages of two and three is something special. She speaks so clearly now that pretty much anyone can understand what she is trying to articulate.

Paul states in 1 Corinthians 13:11, “When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.”

What if Heidi grew up and still referred to night time as, “Do do’s go nite nite?” I can hear the thoughts you think as you read this. That would be my thoughts exactly. It would be weird! What if she never practiced her words? We expect children to be able to articulate their words more clearly as they practice and use them.

Paul is using this principle to illustrate how we learn to communicate love. Specifically, it is how we communicate the love of God. Chapter 13 of 1 Corinthians, is known as the “love” chapter. In verse four the Bible states, “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude.”

You probably know the verses. You have heard them at every wedding you have attended. In this chapter, biblical love is spelled out and defined for all the world. At the beginning of the chapter, Paul says you could have all the knowledge and skill in the world, but if you say and do things without love, you are just background noise.

As we grow up (mature) in our Christian lives, we must learn how to effectively and clearly communicate the love of God. We must give up our childish, selfish communication of love and grow into a sacrificial expression of love. How do you do that? The key is practice. Consciously catch yourself when you are selfish, repent, and switch on the spot to sacrificial love. The more and more you do this in your day to day life, the more habitual, biblical love will become.

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